Valentino Rossi & Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team: Goodbye after 15...

Valentino Rossi & Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team: Goodbye after 15...
Valentino Rossi & Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team: Goodbye after 15...

The Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team said goodbye to Valentino Rossi on Sunday in Portimão. This ended a 15-year collaboration with the nine-time world champion and still immensely popular MotoGP star.

On Sunday afternoon after the final MotoGP race, there was a party in the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team pit box, not a party about the successes on the track but a goodbye party to thank Valentino Rossi for his 15 years of excellent work, dedication and passion. Rossi has been a key member of the Yamaha family for the past 15 years, for two long terms in his impressive Grand Prix career (2004-2010 season and 2013-2020 season). The Yamaha Factory MotoGP team took the opportunity on Sunday afternoon to express their sincere appreciation for the still very active MotoGP rider and a large part of his trusted crew who, like ‘the Doctor’, will be saying goodbye after this final race of 2020 take.

Valentino Rossi & Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP
Rossi first drove for the team in 2004 and stayed for seven years before taking a two-season foray to Ducati. However, in 2013 he returned to Yamaha where he restored his purpose, his energy and his performance. His second term with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team lasted eight years, a year longer than his first term and that should be seen as a clear indication of how much the Italian feels at home with Yamaha.

Rossi’s list of results he has achieved with the Yamaha Factory Racing Team is impressive. A combined total of 4 MotoGP world titles, 56 victories and 142 podium finishes were taken in the 255 Grand Prix races where they appeared at the start.

In addition to Rossi, the Yamaha Factory Racing Team also says goodbye to the highly regarded colleagues Brent Stephens (Mechanic since 1999), Alex Briggs (Mechanic since 2004), Matteo Flamigni (Data Engineer since 2000), David Muñoz (Crew Chief since 2020) and Idalio Gavira (Rider Performance Analyst since 2019), all of whom are part of The Doctor’s crew.

Briggs and Stephens will leave Yamaha, while Muñoz, Flamigni and Gavira will continue their work with ‘the Doctor’ at Petronas Yamaha SRT in 2021.

The Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team once again thanked Rossi and the outgoing team members at the meeting for their hard work, professionalism, dedication and passion. Their great contribution and results will always be a part of Yamaha’s racing legacy.

Lin Jarvis: “This is an emotional moment. It’s always sad to say goodbye, especially to people who have been such an important part of the team. But nothing in life lasts, nothing stays the same, and that’s the nature of MotoGP. The situation in the paddock is constantly evolving. People join the team, some leave, and some come back.

2020 was Valentino’s 15th season with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP team. I have many vivid memories of these years. There were highs and lows – it was a rollercoaster ride, but his list of results on a Yamaha is really impressive: 4 MotoGP World Championship titles, 255 Grand Prix races, 56 wins, 142 podiums. It’s amazing how much he has accomplished in his time with us.

In Valentino’s case, we are now faced with what I would call ‘a changing of the guard’. Although he is leaving the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team, this is not the end of his career. This is not a complete farewell scenario, this is a moment of transition. Regardless, it’s important because Valentino has been part of our team for so long. But next year he stays close, he stays close to us. His status as a factory rider continues, and he will continue to ride a factory YZR-M1 with the full support of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. He will also bring crew chief David, data engineer Matteo and rider coach Idalio, so he will be surrounded by some familiar faces in the Petronas Yamaha SRT pit box.

Brent, Alex and Javier will end their long-term partnership with Yamaha. Their expertise, professionalism and passion for the job is something that has sustained our team for many years, so it is very sad to have to say goodbye to them. We wish them the best for the future and hope to keep in touch. ”

Valentino Rossi: “This is an important moment, because this is the end of our long journey together. Our history, between me and the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team, is divided into two parts – almost like a good movie, I guess.

The first part is from the beginning in 2004 to 2010. I think that was the best part of my career. We have made history for Yamaha. We were able to win the championship for Yamaha after twenty years. I will always remember these achievements, because they are also key moments in my career.

But I am also very proud of the second part. I want to thank Lin and all of Yamaha again. They gave me the chance to come back to the Factory Team after two bad years with another factory when I was already ‘getting old’ for MotoGP standards, so I was kind of desperate at the time. I will never forget the moment Lin told me I would have the chance to come back here. I will always be grateful for that moment, because maybe I could have stopped driving then if I hadn’t been able to come back here. My return to the Factory Yamaha team took 8 years, so one year longer than the first part. The second part was a bit more difficult in terms of results, but we got close to winning a championship at one point, which could have changed our story. But things happened as they did, and I am still grateful for the support I received from Lin, Maio and all the Japanese engineers. But above all I want to thank my crew. We have been together for a long time. Bernie, Alex, Brent, Matteo, Mark, David, Idalio, and more. I also want to say thanks to the other guys on the team and the hospitality staff. And of course to my buddy Maverick: the atmosphere was always good with that side of the box, so I want to thank them too.

Next year I will still be riding a factory bike with full factory support, only in different colors. It’s true, I won’t be in the Yamaha Factory Racing garage anymore, just a door away – along with Matteo, Idalio and David – so we can definitely say goodbye. ”

Rossi will join Petronas Yamaha SRT next season, the Yamaha MotoGP satellite team where he will meet his own VR46 Riders Academy protégé Franco Morbidelli as a teammate.

Handige links Grand Prix MEO de Portugal 2020:

Timetable and full results
Where to follow on TV
Photo report

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